A1: An Intergenerational Solution to Today’s Workforce Challenge

Track: Nonprofit Workforce Development Strategies 
Commitments: Advancing Equity, Investing in Capacity

Format: Talk Show Panel

Building diverse, engaged teams and finding ways to develop and retain talent are just a few of the day-to-day challenges social sector organizations currently face. Fortunately, there are a variety of innovative and proven models that can be leveraged to fill the gaps and address these most challenging dynamics. This vibrant panel will engage a variety of voices to present tried and true, as well as innovative, emerging models and workforce approaches. Participants will hear from a human resource expert, a recent retiree, and an emerging leader; each providing insight and detailed approaches to strengthening your workforce.

More specifically, panelists will explore the value, benefits, and how-tos associated with:

  • Building bi-directional mentoring models where diverse-aged pairs have the opportunity to learn and share from each other, driving increased engagement, learning, development, and retention
  • Utilizing non-traditional employment options, such as phased retirements, consultants and interims, to tap the large near-retiree and retired population who are hungry for ongoing opportunities to contribute in meaningful ways
  • Integrating intergenerational approaches that break down organizational barriers, increase coworker engagement, and tee-up community members to better achieve outcomes
  • Panelists will then shift to active engagement with participants, teeing up discussion questions, sharing resources to support their utilization of the highlighted models, and engaging with their peers for discussion of challenges and new ideas 

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will gain a greater understanding of the value of mentoring and intergenerational approaches within the workforce and how to leverage them to solve workforce challenges 
  • Participants will gain a greater understanding of the value of non-traditional employment options and how to leverage them to meet their talent needs 
  • Participants will receive resources to support efforts to integrate these models into their organizational workforce development strategies 

Presenter:

  • Emily Merritt, director of intergenerational initiatives, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

A2: An Organizational Turnaround in the Making

Track: Financial Health and Sustainability Strategies 
Commitments: Investing in Capacity, Leading with Vision

Format: Talk Show Panel

This is a story of hope and inspiration for human services agencies. In the four years prior to new leadership in 2017, Lutheran Social Services of WI and Upper MI (LSS) had sustained successive operating losses totaling $4.7 million. In 2018, the first full year of new leadership, LSS projected an operating loss of $500K and ultimately ended the year with a $67K operating gain, meeting its budget for the first time in five years. At the same time, employee engagement survey participation and scores increased, placing LSS in the 91st percentile compared with like organizations. In addition, in this past year, 91% of people served indicated that LSS helped them improve the quality of their lives.

In this session, participants will learn how LSS’ experience and lessons can translate into success in their organizations. Members of the executive leadership team of LSS will share their perspectives on how LSS is increasing its financial viability. They will offer their insights through a talk show panel approach and demonstrate how positive results can be achieved through living LSS’ values of compassion, courage, co-creation, and change. Highlights include: getting the right team, talent and partners; shifting the culture towards greater business awareness and financial accountability; developing a narrow and deep business model through strategic divestment, growth, and innovation; maximizing revenue through productivity; and effectively managing funding partner relationships through establishing structured rate-setting standards, negotiation discipline, and sometimes saying “no.” 

Learning Objectives:

  • Awareness of how courageous leadership is needed to challenge the status quo in the human services sector to secure organizational financial health 
  • Strategies for shifting organizational culture towards greater business awareness and accountability in a servant leadership organization 
  • Approach and necessary ingredients for optimizing a complex organization’s program portfolio
  • How to achieve mutually beneficial partnerships with funders for maximum impact

Presenters:

  • Héctor Colón, president and CEO, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
  • Joe Arzbecker, chief operating officer, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan 
  • Michelle Naples, chief integration officer, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
  • Randy Oleszak, chief financial officer, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan

A3: Leadership for the Toughest Problems

Track: Leadership Practices
Commitments: Executing on Mission, Leading with Vision

Format: Candid Campfire Conversations

Business icon Warren Buffett has noted, “The nature of the problems that a foundation tackles is exactly the opposite of business. In business, you look for easy things, very good businesses that don't have very many problems and that almost run themselves ... In the philanthropic world, you’re looking at the toughest problems that exist. That’s the reason why they’re important problems is they’ve resisted the intellect and money being thrown at them over the years and they haven't been solved. You have to expect a lower batting average in tackling the problems of philanthropy than in tackling the problems in business.”

He is talking about us – we nonprofit leaders who dare to take on the toughest problems. And just as the nature of the problems we solve is different from business, the variables that impact our leadership are different as well. These include the impact of multiple stakeholders on a nonprofit leader’s power and authority; a totally different, some might even say illogical, business model; and a social mission that requires both adaptive leadership skills and innovative measures of success. If we don’t acknowledge and embrace the unique aspects of leading in this sector, teach our emerging leaders and board members about those differences, and allow them to believe that we just need to be more “business-like,” how can we expect to have maximum impact in furthering our social mission?

This interactive and candid campfire conversation will draw on the latest research related to the distinctive facets of strategic leadership in a nonprofit environment. It will foster a generative discussion of participants’ own experiences related to how these variables impact their leadership efforts while providing steps to build the capacity of their emerging nonprofit leaders while also creating an understanding among their board members about the leadership approaches required to tackle the toughest problems.

Learning Objectives:

  • Core ways leading a nonprofit organization differs from leading a for-profit or public organization
  • How these variables may impact leadership and fulfillment of an organization’s goals and social mission 
  • Steps for building capacity of staff and understanding of the board related to the unique aspects of nonprofit leadership

Presenter:

  • Debbie Reed, president/CEO, Chaddock, @chaddockforkids

A4: Auberle’s 412 Youth Zone: Creating Success for Our Most Vulnerable People

Track: Strategy and Innovation Approaches 
Commitments: Innovating with Enterprise, Partnering with Purpose

Auberle’s 412 Youth Zone is an innovative and unique approach to providing services to transition-age youth exiting the foster care system or who have experienced homelessness. Learn why this model is receiving attention and accolades from our federal leaders in Health and Human Services. The Auberle 412 Youth Zone leverages over 80 cross-sector partners to deliver an array of critical services to young adults.

This presentation will include how the program has developed since its inception (in 2016). Topics include creating a safe trauma-informed culture, staff recruitment/retention, and development strategies. The positive, supportive culture at the 412 Youth Zone promotes innovation among the team members and the participants themselves.

What’s in it for me?
The presentation will guide participants through thinking about how they can use Auberle’s practice of leveraging community partners and stakeholders in their communities, programs, and agencies. Participants will also hear about the challenges and successes in creating and developing a new program with a new approach. And because staff morale can profoundly impact the success of a program, practices, and strategies to improve morale and create a culture of inclusion and innovation will be provided.

Learning Objectives:

  • Innovative ways to collaborate and partner with other nonprofit and for-profit organizations
  • Techniques to improve staff morale, retention, and development 
  • Challenges and success in creating a new program with a fresh approach

Presenter:

  • Aimee Plowman, 412 Youth Zone director, Auberle, @aimee_plowman
  • Ashley Potofsky, 412 Youth Zone supervisor, Auberle

A5: How Much Money Can You Afford to Lose?

Additional fee: $20 (includes lunch)
Time: 10:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. This session starts at the same time as other Session A workshops, but lasts longer, going into lunch.

Track: Financial Health and Sustainability Strategies, Nonprofit Workforce Development Strategies
Commitments: Innovating with Enterprise, Investing in Capacity

Human services community-based organizations rely on unrestricted support from fundraisers and philanthropy to drive innovation, build new programs, and more. 

Yet 91% of nonprofits say fundraising turnover is their biggest challenge, and half of lead development officers plan to leave their organizations within 24 months. The cost of losing a development staff person ranges from $100,000 to nearly $1 million for a top fundraiser. 

One key solution to this critical problem is the relationships! 

Join us for a spirited workshop and lunch-time session, where you’ll hear from a panel of chief development officers (CDOs) and chief executive officers (CEOs) who will share how they best work together to achieve fundraising excellence. These CEO-CDO pairs will share how they tag-team, run plays, and score big wins for their organizations by working as a team.

Participants will also learn about national research conducted on how CEOs and CDOs work together—the good, the bad and the ugly. Everyone in the room will have a chance to share their experiences and learn from each other. 

Learn why the CEO-CDO relationship is critical for building a culture of philanthropy to raise top dollars. You will develop a concrete action plan to build the strong internal relationships needed for fundraising success—a culture of philanthropy that leverages collaboration, trust, and shared fundraising responsibilities across your team. 

Whether you are a CEO, CDO, other organizational leader, or want to be, the CEO-CDO relationship and fundraising will be critical to your success. 

Learning Objectives:

  • The importance of fund development in the overall financial picture of human-serving community-based organizations
  • Workforce trends in fund development, particularly related the CEO’s role in retaining chief development officers
  • Key levers for a strong CEO-CDO relationship that enhances fund development, and they will develop a plan for improving that relationship on the job
  • Techniques for building a culture of philanthropy so that program staff, executive team, and board members become deeply engaged in fund development efforts staffed by the development team, including collaborative goal setting, program expectations from development, collaboration, etc. 

Facilitator:

  • Barbara Armstrong, director of development, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Presenter:

  • Sarah Jennings, executive director, campaigns & director, corporate and foundation relations, SSM Health Foundation

Panelists:

  • Bob Feikema, president and CEO, Family Services
  • Michelle Speas, chief development and public relations officer, Family Services
  • Greg Peters, president and chief executive officer, United Methodist Family Services
  • Gary Duncan, chief development officer, United Methodist Family Services
  • Jonathan Palmer, executive director, Hallie Q. Brown Community Center
  • Dawn L. Selle, director of development and external affairs, Hallie Q. Brown Community Center

B2: A Frank Productive Conversation about Culture, Diversity and Inclusion

Track: Advancing Equity, Nonprofit Workforce Development Strategies
Commitments: Advancing Equity, Engaging All Voices

Format: Candid Campfire Conversations

A candid campfire conversation is a perfect format to learn from each other and share ideas regarding enhancing our organization's diversity practices and efforts to create more inclusive cultures. We will begin with a brief sharing of Child and Family Resources efforts – successes and ongoing work. Our agency's staff is over 50% bilingual and bicultural, reflecting the demographics of clients we serve across Arizona. Both presenters are children of immigrants and bring that perspective to their work as key leaders of the organization.

This session aims to facilitate honest dialogue and sharing of ideas and strategies to address the challenges of creating worksites that are warm, welcoming, and appreciative of a diverse staff. Too often, superficial workshops/training about diversity, equity, inclusion substitute for looking at the subtle, and not so subtle, ways that agency cultures perpetuate white-dominant norms.

Recent and overdue re-evaluation has been occurring in the world of philanthropy. We are now looking at the unintended consequences and impacts of our model that is patriarchal, white-culture driven, and keeps power and dollars away from the clients and organizations who could more intelligently use it. We can talk about the impact of this on our organizations.

These three questions will be asked as prompts to spark frank conversations.

  • Is there any lingering racism in your organization?
  • What would persons of color who work in your organization say about its culture?
  • What work remains to be done to align clients, staff, management, board, and funders?  

Learning Objectives:

  • Leading honest, deeper conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Ways your organization can make people of color (staff and clients) feel safer and more accepted
  • Unintended consequences to our old-school, philanthropic model (inspiring wealthy, predominantly white people to help the afflicted to receive a tax deduction and/or feel-good from doing charity)
  • Changes from moving away from a more dominant culture-driven approach to making decisions

Presenters:

  • Eric Schindler, president/CEO, Child and Family Resource
  • Julie Rosen, vice president family community services, Child and Family Resources

B3: Cross-system Partnerships to Address Complex Families

Track: Strategy and Innovation Approaches 
Commitment: Partnering with Purpose

Pressley Ridge entered into a new and innovative arrangement with a county in Pennsylvania to develop and provide programming for a complex, multi-system involved family. Programming maintained the family unit, allowed for creative solutions to everyday problems, coordinated multiple child and adult serving systems, and utilized braided funding from multiple sources.

This workshop will review the process of developing programming, the coordination of both adult and youth systems and services, and the development of a funding structure that pulls from a variety of sources and systems. Participants will be offered a timeline of collaborative development of programming and will engage in a small, group activity that promotes creative thinking regarding the serving of complex family systems. The workshop will conclude with a discussion of successes, barriers, and outcomes. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Opportunities for cross-system collaboration
  • Possibilities for braided funding streams
  • Creative programming for complex families 

Presenters:

  • Rhonda Sullivan, senior director of Western Pennsylvania, Pressley Ridge, @pressleyridge
  • Amy Fenn, senior director, Western Pennsylvania, Pressley Ridge, @pressleyridge

B4: Increasing Mission Impact Through Collaboration

Track: Strategy and Innovation Approaches 
Commitments: Measuring that Matters, Partnering with Purpose

Over the last decade, foundations, government organizations, and donors have demanded increased accountability for dollars invested. Those of us doing the work have learned that data-driven program evaluation produces a greater impact. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Chicago Benchmarking Collaborative (CBC), a partnership of seven well-established education and human services agencies that have committed to working together to implement data-informed program improvements.

In honor of this milestone, the CBC, in partnership with Boeing Community Engagement, has published a how-to guide, “Increasing Mission Impact through Collaborative Learning: Chicago Benchmarking Collaborative Processes and Toolkit.” This guide offers advice on how to leverage collaborative effort to increase the impact of evaluation. It is also intended to be useful to funders aiming to standardize data collection from grantees or convene grantees to share data in peer learning forums.

The Campfire Conversation will be led by Lori Baas, CEO of Christopher House and Traci Stanley, director of quality assurance at Christopher House and project manager of the CBC. The pair will share highlights from the how-to-guide touching on the four crucial stages of collaboration:

  • Establish Shared Visions and Goals
  • Build Capacity for Data Use and Collaborative Learning
  • Use Data and Improve Collaborative Practice
  • Sustain and Institutionalize Systems 

In addition to sharing lessons learned and key questions to ask at each stage of collaboration over the last 10 years, we will address the importance of leadership and clear vision to create the cultural change needed for effective data collaboration. We will share several examples of how we utilized shared data to improve outcomes for children and families across partner agencies.

After a 30-minute presentation, attendees will be invited to share their experiences and respond to a set of questions about culture, collaboration, and program evaluation.

The Chicago Benchmarking Collaborative has been featured in Stanford Social Innovation Review and MIT Sloan Management as a model of effective partnership and innovation in program evaluation and improvement. It was also the focus of a study at Northwestern University’s Network of Nonprofit and Social Impact that was published in Harvard Business Review.  

Learning Objectives:

  • How to overcome barriers to culture change through leadership, systems, and processes
  • How and when to engage outside consultants to create consensus
  • How to build trust and cohesion among partners
  • How to attract investors and finance collaborative mission impact
  • Practical ways to use data and improve mission impact  

Presenters:

  • Lori Baas, CEO, Christopher House, @chousechicago
  • Traci Stanley, director of quality assurance, Christopher House, @chousechicago

C1: True Confessions of Visionary Leaders

Track: Nonprofit Workforce Development Strategies
Commitments: Investing in Capacity, Leading with Vision

True Confession: Just because you’re a nonprofit, doesn’t mean you’re not a business.

Nonprofit does not mean non-business. Both nonprofit and for-profit have business processes, revenue, P&L, and employees with leaders to execute strategy and ensure sustainability.

Since founding in 1902, Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS) has successfully run its business, evolving to provide the right services and solutions to address the needs of children and families throughout changing times. By 2016, CHS found itself with an experienced senior leadership team with over 114 years of combined experience at CHS. However, there was one critical vulnerability – there was no succession plan in place.

Additionally, the organization was facing an increasingly changing landscape, demanding legislative, funding, and philanthropic efforts to move further upstream into prevention. In the face of ever-changing societal needs, a fundamental shift in strategy was needed and would take years to execute. This leadership team got results. and CHS helped more children realize their full potential. However, did the team have the skills to propel CHS into the future? How would the organization evolve to further its mission and ensure sustainability for the next 116 years?

In “True Confessions of Visionary Leaders,” participants will analyze the case study of CHS’s journey in linking strategy to leadership development and succession to enhance capability and transform the business. Participants will engage with the “confessions” to explore how they can apply the lessons learned to their unique situations to improve their work efforts. Takeaways include practical methods and concepts on how to match leader competencies to strategy, build a leadership pipeline, and identify emerging leaders. CHS furthered its mission by shifting mindsets and empowering leaders to lean into challenges, aligning both organizational culture and teams “to end the need for foster care as we know it.”

Participants will benefit from this session because no matter the mission, organizations in the human services sector need visionary leadership that embraces change to chart a successful future course. No matter what venture, all businesses share the need to equip leaders with the competencies required to cultivate high-performing teams capable of executing its strategy.  

Learning Objectives:

  • How to align leadership development and succession planning to strategy
  • Given a case study, be able to identify how the seven principles presented in the session were applied
  • How to apply each of the principles to a participant’s organization  

Presenters:

  • Heather E. Vogel, chief talent officer, Children's Home Society of Florida
  • Jennifer Walck, director of organizational development and change, Children's Home Society of Florida 

C2: Thinking Strategically About Your Nonprofit’s Revenue

Track: Financial Health and Sustainability Strategies
Commitment: Executing on Mission

If only we could get that city grant and the corporate sponsorship and the major gift, we would be set! Whether it be at a board meeting or a strategy retreat, this notion of “more-the-merrier” when it comes to revenue streams is fed by the belief that an organization will be more financially secure if they diversify revenue. Unfortunately, research shows the opposite. While some diversification is essential, each revenue stream requires different focuses and skills for organizations. This session introduces a framework and engages in a discussion and exercise based on a strategic revenue strategy that is:
  • Aligned with the impact the organization is trying to achieve
  • Leverages the organization’s revenue-generating strengths (what we call capacities)
  • Taking into account relevant internal and external changes

There isn’t a silver bullet or one-size-fits-all solution for the revenue challenges faced by nonprofit organizations. By considering market trends, data from tools and financials, and the wisdom of peers, participants will begin to identify action steps that will help strengthen each’s nonprofit sustainability.This session is designed explicitly with financial leaders in mind as it moves beyond the nuts and bolts of finance to help executives use their financial information to make strategic decisions. Our work in this session will introduce ways in which financial leaders can engage a broader set of stakeholders in strategic revenue conversations. Our approach and associated templates help make conversations about revenue more accessible and engaging for program staff and board members. Doing so helps build shared responsibility of the financial health across the organization, strengthening the impact and helping to create the communities we’re all striving for.

Learning Objectives:

  • How to break down a revenue mix into its components and identify characteristics of sustainable revenue mixes
  • Identify organizations' capacities in generating revenue and opportunities for greater sustainability
  • Build on templates to make revenue conversations more accessible for stakeholders like board and staff  

Presenter:

  • Steve Zimmerman, principal, Spectrum Nonprofit Services, @SpectrumSteve

C3: Engaging Members of Congress in Memorable Site Visits

Track: Leadership Practices
Commitment: Co-Creating with Community, Executing on Mission

Format: Candid Campfire Conversations

Alliance members are developing and implementing innovative, high-quality programs across the human services spectrum in their communities. Elected officials are looking to connect with high-impact nonprofits that are solving some of the most challenging issues in their communities. The sharing of vast knowledge from nonprofit leaders and the lived experiences of their communities to elected officials is pivotal for informing public dialogue and policymaking. This interactive design challenge will allow participants to plan site visits in small groups.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand what it takes to get your issues on your members of Congress' agendas
  • Learn how to design an effective site visit to engage elected officials
  • Add resources to your advocacy toolbox including social media and communications strategy, building an effective policy event agenda, and making your “ask” 

Presenter:

  • Ilana Levinson, senior director, government relations, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, @AlliancePolicy

D1: The Art of Retention: A Creative Solution to Social Service Burnout

Track: Nonprofit Workforce Development Strategies 
Commitment: Innovating with Enterprise

The average career of a social worker is eight years, with 73% of workers reporting emotional exhaustion. Turnover rates are staggering, with research predicting that 50% to 60% of community mental health and social service workers will change jobs within the next year. Staff turnover represents an industry crisis, and there is no simple solution. Our presentation will describe an innovative approach to addressing this issue at both micro and macro levels and will invite audience members to participate in an expressive arts activity aimed at reducing stress and fostering interpersonal connections.

Social service workers tend to be highly educated but receive low pay for working in high-stress environments. Because social service workers often prioritize client care, team building, and self-care activities can easily fall to the wayside. Our presentation will illustrate how integrating expressive arts into our organizational culture has promoted team building and wellness among our staff. By sharing the experience of expressive arts with audience members, we will effectively demonstrate the benefits of expressive arts as both a self-care activity and a low-cost method of addressing staff burnout.

Expressive arts is a two-part process; it entails creating art, then reflecting on it. While it is often used in therapy with clients to promote healing, it has seldom been utilized as a staff-retention tool. Staff at Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI) have developed an expertise in expressive arts and currently facilitate workshops with both clients and co-workers. Data collected from participant feedback surveys indicate many benefits, including stress reduction, self-care, and opportunities to connect with other co-workers. Ultimately, staff who feel valued and engage in self-care are likely to provide a higher quality of care to the clients they serve.

Our presentation will communicate the urgency of high staff turnover rates and the benefits of integrating expressive arts into high-stress work environments. Following a brief presentation, the audience will be invited to participate in an expressive arts workshop targeted at stress reduction and overall wellness. Our goal is to evoke a renewed sense of creativity among audience members, and an excitement to explore expressive arts opportunities in their respective communities.

Learning Objectives:

  • Effective approaches for promoting staff wellness
  • What expressive arts is and how it can be implemented to address job-related stress
  • Experience the benefits of participating in expressive arts through an expressive arts workshop 

Presenters:

  • Vanessa Cubellis, clinical supervisor, Family Service of Rhode Island
  • Rachel Small, quality management data specialist, Family Service of Rhode Island 

D3: Assessing and Developing Staff’s Data Literacy Skills

Track: Strategy and Innovation Approaches
Commitments: Innovating with Enterprise, Measuring that Matters

There is a large and growing body of literature saying that working with data is an essential modern skill, with an increased emphasis in the nonprofit sector for leaders concerning data-based decision making (Bhargava & D’Ignazio, 2015). However, recent research shows only 24% of decision makers, from managers to the C-suite, feel fully confident in their ability to read, work with, analyze and argue with data and evidence (Morrow, 2018). These fundamental skills are used to define a person’s data literacy.  

When a workforce has low data literacy skills, the overall performance of the organization suffers (Morrow, 2018). The first step in developing a data literate workforce is to assess the current skill levels of staff. Pressley Ridge used the available literature on data literacy to develop an assessment specifically for the nonprofit sector. The data literacy assessment measures five key domains that define data literacy:  

  • Infrastructure 
  • Knowledge 
  • Assimilation 
  • Interpretation 
  • Application 

Total scores from the assessment translate into five data personas adapted from the literature (Qlik, 2018) ranging from the most to the least data literate: Data Aficionado, Data Connoisseur, Data Dreamer, Data Doubter, and Data Phobic. Results of the assessment can help organizations’ leadership understand their staff’s overall data literacy, and, on an individual level, the data personas can help to determine the level of training and support needed for staff. Using the results of this assessment, Pressley Ridge put together trainings and resources to advance staff members’ data literacy. 

This presentation will begin with a review of the data literacy assessment and then will transition into a world cafe format where participants will rotate to three different tables to read real-life case examples of the data personas and review the learning resources provided for each example. Guiding questions will be provided at each table with opportunities to write down thoughts from each group. A summarization of responses and reflections will occur at the end of the presentation. Participants will leave with a copy of the data literacy assessment and learning resources to take back and use in their organizations. 

Learning Objectives:

  • The importance of assessing and developing a data literate workforce
  • Applicability of the data literacy assessment to different organization 
  • Develop a plan for using the assessment and resources at their organization 

Presenters:

  • Amy Strickler, director of organizational performance, Pressley Ridge, @PressleyRidge 
  • Michael W. Valenti, senior research coordinator, Pressley Ridge, @PressleyRidge 
  • Cha-Tanya Lankford, program director, Pressley Ridge, @PressleyRidge 

D4: A Cross-Systems Approach to Older Youth in Child Welfare

Track: Strategy and Innovation Approaches
Commitments: Innovating with Enterprise

Format: Candid Campfire Conversations 


Older youth and youth aging out of the child welfare system are often unprepared to meet the demands of independent living. They have little support from family, little to no financial resources, and are often facing significant and debilitating mental health issues. These young adults face higher rates of homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder, and unemployment than young people who have not been involved in the system. According to the 2015 Philadelphia Department of Human Services Needs-Based Plan and Budget, of the 1,165 youth who aged out of Philadelphia’s foster care system, 70% lacked a permanent residence, 82% did not have a source of income support, and 67% did not have a “life connection.” These numbers are staggering. 

Effective permanency and transition planning is needed to ensure that older youth and youth aging out of the system have the necessary support networks and relationships, life skills, and resources to make a successful transition. Efforts and collaboration across multiple systems is critical to this success. This is the strategy used at Turning Points for Children. Community and prevention programs can offer supports and resources to strengthen families to avoid older youth from entering the child welfare system. For the youth that do enter the child welfare system, case management services along with Family Finding efforts support a youth’s journey in establishing and building lifelong connections, developing life skills, and provide needed stability. As a youth prepares for transition from the child welfare system, programs such as YV Lifeset and Aftercare work alongside the case management team to ensure that the youth has the necessary connections and resources that will carry them beyond discharge into a successful adulthood.   

Learning Objectives:

  • How community and prevention services can support families and keep older youth from entering the child welfare system 
  • How case management services, including Family Finding, can support a youth’s journey when they do enter the child welfare system 
  • How programs, such as YVLifeset and Aftercare, can support a young adult’s transition from child welfare to independence and adulthood 

Presenters:

  • Heather Miller, CUA case management director, Turning Points for Children 
  • Justin Williams, director of community and intervention, Turning Points for Children 
  • Lauren Willis, YVLifeset program director, Turning Points for Children 

E3: Family First Implementation: Learning from the Early Adopter States

Track: All
Commitments: Engaging All Voices, Innovating with Enterprise

Format: Talk Show Panel 

It’s been nearly two years since the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) became law. Earlier this fall, the first batch of states began their transition to implementation and compliance with new FFPSA rules and regulations. This legislation presents an opportunity for community-based organizations to be innovative, expand prevention service offerings to the families they serve, and to think creatively about how to address the challenges in their communities. But this complex law can also be confusing, and communication is key as we navigate this major shift in the field. 

In this session, we’ll break down some of the most pressing discussions within FFPSA. Then our panel, made up of Alliance members from early implementation states, will share their bright spots and their challenges, offering guidance for leaders the states that follow. This interactive session will give us all the opportunity to share ideas with one another. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn from peers whose states have begun implementing FFPSA to better understand opportunities, challenges, and what to expect
  • Best practices with FFPSA 
  • Takeaway tools, questions, and ideas for implementation 

Presenters:

  • Ilana Levinson, senior director of government relations, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, @AlliancePolicy 
  • Diane Bellino, director of quality assurance & utilization management, Wellspring Lutheran Services  
  • More panelists TBA

F1: Creating an EDI-Enriched Workplace

Track: Advancing Equity 
Commitment: Advancing Equity

Despite the emergence of an interconnected and global society, we continue to face the same cultural conflicts and challenges of previous decades. How we perceive the world is based, in part, on our experiences and upbringing, and these perceptions can cause us to have feelings and attitudes about others based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age, and appearance.  

These associations start at an early age and develop over the course of a lifetime, impacting our behaviors and leading to discrimination. However, we have witnessed groups effect change through collaborative efforts designed to raise awareness and promote equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) on behalf of representative needs. 

The cultural competence of human-serving professionals is critical to the successful support of strong families and communities. By cultivating a thorough understanding of different cultures and peoples by reviewing historical precedence and current data, leadership can strengthen their organizations’ capacity to build culturally-enriched workplaces and provide services in intentional, appropriate ways that account for individual experiences. 

Through the lens of equity theory and diversity management, this presentation will explore ideas such as implicit bias, the complexities of EDI, and how biases and perceptions can influence behaviors both generally and in culturally significant settings.  

Participants will explore their relationship with EDI in a safe environment, learn how to recognize their own biases, and reduce the potential for micro-aggressions in their work and lives. 

A firm, foundational understanding of bias, implicit or otherwise, continues to move conversations surrounding EDI forward, but such understanding is reliant on the ongoing collaboration of organizations and professionals to align behaviors, practices, and procedures with cultural competencies. Participants will walk away with a firm grasp of EDI best practice, allowing them to create programming and supports that accurately reflect the perspectives of individuals served. 

Learning Objectives:

  • The definition of EDI through history, legislation, data, and experiences 
  • The benefits of EDI to the workplace and the wider human-serving sector 
  • How biases, racism, and incivility create barriers to building an EDI-enriched workplace culture 
  • Howe to neutralize the impact of bias on cultural competency and decision making 

Presenters:

  • Terri Howard, senior director, FEI Behavioral Health 
  • Undraye P. Howard, senior director of equity, diversity, inclusion and engagement and leadership, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

F2: Deconstructing Leadership to Create a Culture of Vision & Competency

Track: Leadership Practices
Commitment: Leading with Vision

Format: Talk Show Panel 

During this interactive panel session, participants will learn and share on-the-ground leadership best practices through the lenses of a corporation Aramark, and nonprofit organization Center For Family Services.

The session will provide a platform for the exchange of ideas for starting, enhancing, augmenting and evaluating current and next-generation leadership development and practice. From assessing leadership competencies to identifying culture shifts to continuous improvement and succession planning, this forum will provide a collaborative approach to providing individuals in executive and senior management-level positions with the tools to implement leadership practices that foster responsible growth, recognize talent and create transformational impact with and for the communities they serve. 

Both organizations will provide their prospective on leadership practices, especially relative to their focus on advancing equity in innovative and sustainable ways. Conversations will focus on encouraging authentic communication and embodying the organization’s brand in all aspects of service delivery and relationship building. Participants will be invited to consider and share their thoughts regarding the meaning and role of leadership, the structure of their organizations, how leaders need to be developed for the future of the sector, and what shared practices are applicable to reestablishing a culture and strategy for emerging leaders. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Tenets of leadership that are crucial markers of a successful organization 
  • How leadership teams balance a vision for the future with the needs of today 
  • How nonprofits can incorporate best practices from the corporate setting into their own cultures 
  • What organizations are doing to incorporate their “brand of leadership’ in each aspect of their work 
  • The language of leadership—communicating authentically with key stakeholders 

Presenters:

  • Richard Stagliano, president & CEO, Center For Family Services 
  • Rebecca Owens, director, community relations, Aramark 

F3: Building Meaningful, Long-Term Relationships with the Philanthropic Community

Track: Financial Health and Sustainability Strategies 
Commitment: Executing on Mission, Investing in Capacity

Delivered from a funder’s perspective, participants will learn the value of building relationships with foundations prior to applying for grants or submitting a Letter of Intent. Participants will understand the importance of relationship building in order to achieve their fundraising goal and if it’s appropriate to keep the funder engaged during and after their grant cycle.  

Participants will also better understand the difference between various funding streams (For example, grants, versus sponsorships, versus capital, versus crowdsourcing, etc.) and the importance of having multiple revenue streams when approaching funders.  

Participants will know how to create a win-win between their organization and the grantor based on shared goals and values. Participants will leave the session with insight on how to engage with foundations, what goes into submitting a completed grant application, and how to successfully close out the grant.

Learning Objectives:

  • How to effectively pursue foundations whose grantmaking aligns with their organization’s mission, vision, values and development goals
  • How to build and sustain long lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with funders
  • How to set and align development goals based on which funding sources best fits their goals  
  • How to distinguish between different foundations and the way in which they invest

Presenters:

  • Amber Farr, director of One Northside, Buhl Foundation
  • Alex Matthews, senior community analyst, Highmark Inc.

G2: Marketing, Philanthropy and Goals, Oh My!

Track: Strategy and Innovation Approaches 
Commitment: Investing in Capacity

Are your marketing and fundraising teams in sync? In small and big organizations alike, it is key for you to share a vision. Donors want to know they are making a difference, and your donors and community need to hear that unified voice. If you are not working together, you are wasting time you don’t have and are not clearly communicating your impact. Even worse, your marketing and philanthropy efforts may be working against one another. During this session, hear from your peers about how a strong, unified communication plan is key bringing unrestricted dollars in the door.  

This panel will give you the prime opportunity to ask your peers about what has worked and not worked as they merge their teams. Get tips on how to integrate your marketing plan into fund development, from donor cultivation to stewardship.  

This session will provide you best practices and examples of:  

  • Strategic plans  
  • Marketing messaging and framing  
  • Case statements  
  • Successful appeals  
  • Development plans  
  • Media strategies and tactics  
  • Marketing calendars  

Learning Objectives:

  • How to align marketing and philanthropy efforts with overall business strategy  
  • Why external success must begin with internal focus  
  • Examples of best practices on how to effectively measure progress and success  
  • How an organization’s successful effort to build a culture of philanthropy never stops  

Moderator:

  • Jocelyn Mourning, vice president of development & communications, The Family Conservancy 

Presenters:

  • Pam Darnall, president/CEO, Family & Children's Place
  • Molly McAndrew, chief of external relations, Episcopal Community Services  
  • Michelle Speas, chief development and public relations officer, Family Services  
  • Leah Walker, director of communications, Family & Children’s Place 

G3: Implementation Fidelity and the Replication of Evidence-Based Programs

Track: Strategy and Innovation Approaches 
Commitment: Investing in Capacity

This presentation is designed to provide leaders with a framework to increase their organizations’ impact on children and families by replicating effective program models. Presenters will share how they have replicated programs for transition-age foster youth across multiple states both with their own staff as well as by creatively partnering with other private and public agencies. A key element of successful replication and implementation will be discussed: The methods required to monitor implementation fidelity. 

The passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) has increased motivation for jurisdictions to adopt evidence-based practices (EBPs), as the funding available through this legislation must be spent only on programs that have evidence of effectiveness. With the growing implementation of EBPs, measuring and monitoring model fidelity will likely become increasingly important for agencies and jurisdictions as a result of the passage of the FFPSA. Outcomes are likely to be achieved only by agencies that implement the programs with a high degree of model fidelity.  

The use of a results framework developed for the purpose of replicating codified program models with theories of change and identified outcome objectives both across locations within an organization and with partner agencies will be discussed. Participants will learn about the components of the framework that contribute to consistent results. In addition to evidence of fidelity and strong outcomes, financial and human capital are required to scale a model. Presenters will share strategies for training and leading staff effectively when replicating codified program models. 

Presenters will represent multiple private organizations that have either disseminated/licensed or implemented best practice models. Each will present his or her own experiences either creating and implementing a model or replicating a partner’s model with fidelity. Presenters will also engage in a collaborative dialogue with each other and audience members regarding growth strategies for organizations implementing EBPs.  

Learning Objectives:

  • Results framework developed for the purpose of replicating evidence-based practices 
  • Scaling strategies in the FFPSA-driven environment 
  • How to integrate an EBP or licensed model into a service array with fidelity and as part of a continuum of care 

Presenters:

  • Katja Russell, managing director of partner operations, Youth Villages 

H1: A Journey to Becoming WIDE (Welcoming, Inclusive, Diverse and Equitable)

Track: Advancing Equity 
Commitments: Advancing Equity, Investing in Capacity

The work of advancing equity within social service fields demands that organizations move beyond conversations on diversity to enacting real organizational change with measurable outcomes. Far too often, as human service leaders, we are faced with alarming data demonstrating disproportionate and disparate outcomes that we detest given our shared values. At the same time, we process and analyze the data, but are unsure how to put our values into action and affect real change.  

This 90-minute interactive session is designed for leaders who recognize the perils of complacency when addressing equity, and how systemic barriers prevent children and families from achieving their full potential. It’s for the leader who wishes to begin transforming their organization from passively valuing diversity to building up an organizational culture, day-to-day practices, policies, and strategic capacity to advance equity and become WIDE (Welcoming, Inclusive, Diverse, Equitable). Participants will learn that making an impact on systemic inequities requires organizational efforts that are: 

  • Comprehensive, engaging all levels of the organization in a coordinated and committed effort to participate in transformation 
  • Rich in data, clearly demonstrating the inequities that exist and measuring the organization’s progress in key areas 
  • Collaborative, partnering with youth, families, communities, organizations, and a variety of stakeholders to more effectively advance social justice 

Participants will hear how Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois has been intentional in becoming WIDE, the barriers and insights of our journey, and solutions LCFS has put in place that can be applied to other organizations. They will also participate in reflective/interactive questions and scenarios, which will engage them in identifying strategies to shift from passivity to action and exemplify practical skills to collectively advance equity for children, families and communities starting within our own organizations. 

Learning Objectives:

  • How systemic inequities impact an organization’s mission, staff, clients, and others 
  • How to build an organizational culture, day-to-day practices, policies, and strategic capacity to advance equity 
  • Strategies to address potential barriers your organization may face during the process 

Presenters:

  • LaTasha Roberson-Guifarro, associate vice president of strategy & organizational excellence, privacy officer, Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois, @LCFSIllinois 
  • Brent Diers, director of clinical services, Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois, @LCFSIllinois 

H2: Leading the Way (Or Building Your Leadership Brand)

Track: Leadership Practices 
Commitments: Leading with Vision

ACH Child & Family Services has experienced significant and steady growth over the last 10 years, as Texas has made dramatic policy, funding, and structural changes designed to improve the state’s foster care system. As part of “growing well,” ACH created a defined and focused strategy to maintain a supportive, responsive, and collaborative culture despite the pressures of a performance-based contract environment. This thoughtful approach involved defining and reinforcing the cultural qualities staff valued and resulted in defining how these values are exhibited by leaders throughout the organization. 

Based on the successful design and implementation of ACH Leading the Way Program (leadership competencies), learn about the rationale for custom-made leadership competencies. The presenter will: 

  • Explain what leadership competencies are 
  • The process used by ACH to define the leadership model, engaging not only top leadership, but get employees across the organization to work hands on 
  • Who should be involved in the process 
  • How to base it on organizational values and strategy 

The step-by-step process will include some activities for participants to experience what ACH did in house. Presenters will also share some of the challenges in doing it, the outcome (Leadership Model), and the approach to implement the leadership competencies through communications, development, and performance, in a cost-effective way. Lastly presenters will share some of the benefits. 

Learning Objectives:

  • The relevance of making leadership come alive to everyone in the organization  
  • A concrete process to build leadership competencies 
  • Tips for embedding the change 

Presenters:

  • Myrna Y. Malave, chief human resources officer, ACH Child & Family Services 
  • Marie Clark, director of care management for Our Community Our Kids, ACH Child & Family Services

H3: The Resilience Code for Leaders: 5 Steps to Extraordinary Mental Health

Track: Leadership Practices 
Commitment: Leading with Vision

Leadership is an increasingly stressful profession and is likely to get more so. Staff, clients, boards and community stakeholders bring leaders myriad problems to solve, crises to manage, and seemingly endless needs to meet. The impact of these unceasing demands amidst limited resources and ever-higher performance outcomes results in many leaders experiencing mental and physical exhaustion, anxiety, cloudy thinking, relationship problems, health issues and enduring feelings of cynicism, sadness and frustration. 

But there is hope. Leaders can choose a path to wellness that optimizes health, boosts energy, enhances peak performance and effectively manages stress. Based on the latest discoveries from neuroscience, The Resilience Code for Leaders provides five practical and efficient strategies for achieving extraordinary mental health. The Resilience Code creates a clear pathway to extraordinary mental health and empowers leaders to take back their leadership and life to be the influential helper and positive change agent they were meant to be. 

Learning Objectives:

  • How to reset your mindset to leverage your knowledge and experience in ways that supercharge your motivation and boost your optimism 
  • How to re-take control of the demands on your time to increase your energy, improve your thinking, and accelerate your problem-solving capacity 
  • How to implement the most successful process yet discovered for eliminating your least successful behaviors and making habits of the behaviors that will result in optimal performance 
  • How to take charge of your own well-being to truly maximize your gifts and strengths so that you lead with confidence, ease and contentment under any and all circumstances 

Presenters:

  • Frank Kros, president, Kros Learning Group, @FKros 

H4: Fundraising and Marketing Consultations

Track:

  • Financial and Marketing Consultations 

Members of the Fundraising, Marketing, and Communications Alliance Peer Exchange group Core Team will provide private one-on-one consultations to conference participants on fundraising, branding, marketing, and communications. This unique experience provides opportunities for you to receive feedback and specific action steps to address your specific challenges impacting you and your organization. 

The Core Team is made up of CEOs, chief development officers, and marketing and branding managers in the Alliance network. They have many years of experience and extensive expertise in all types of nonprofit fundraising, as well as marketing and branding program development for small and large organizations. Examples of consultation topics could include: 

  • Learning new ways to represent your organization to various constituencies to achieve higher visibility and increased unrestricted revenue
  • Finding practical solutions to problematic situations at your organization that might be implemented in an efficient and revenue-producing manner
  • Creating new modes of communicating your mission and core values via social media channels
  • Learning how to possibly double your donor revenue and vastly expand your organization's visibility in your community and region

To help us assign the correct expert/expertise for the consolation, when registering, be prepared to provide a question or issue you are looking for guidance on.

Consultants:

  • Members of the Fund Development, Marketing, and Communications Alliance Peer Exchange group Core Team